(York Family Letters)
Collection of Correspondence and Ephemera of the York family: Margaret Elliott Hiatt York, and her husband Jeremiah F. York, of Cambridge, Henry Co., Illinois, and the allied families of Elliot, Hiatt, and Hearn, of Ohio, dated 1854-1955

Collection of 144 letters, 542 manuscript pages (23 retained mailing envelopes) the letters are dated 1856-1955. The bulk of the material dates from the 1850s-1880s. The collection also has approximately 172 pieces of ephemera, dated 1854-1906, including manuscript receipts and documents, printed and manuscript tax property receipts, used envelopes, newspaper clippings, used checks, warranty deeds, releases, mortgages, etc.

$ 950.00 | Contact Us >

Margaret Jane "Maggie" Elliott (1842-1932) and Jeremiah F. York (1821-1910)

      Margaret Jane "Maggie" Elliott was born in 1842. She was the daughter of William Elliott (1801-1856) and Sarah A. Hearn (1815-1871). Her parents had at least two daughters, Margaret and another child Esther M. Elliott (1844-?). Maggie or Margaret as she came to be called was married first to John Milton Hiatt (1843-1869), and was the mother of two children with Hiatt: Mary Cora Hiatt (1864-1902) and Frances "Fannie" Ellen Hiatt (1867-1902). Maggie, Fannie, and Maggie's mother Sarah are all correspondents in this collection.

      Thomas C. "Chal" Hearn (1828-?), a school teacher, and Maggie's uncle, married a woman by the name of Frances "Fanny" H. Fuller (1832-1881) and had at least two children, William and Carrie. Both "Chal", as Thomas was called, and "Fannie" or "Fanny" as Frances was called, are correspondents in this collection, they both write to Sarah Hearn Elliott and her daughter Maggie.

       In the 1870 Census, Sarah A. Hearn Elliott (Sarah Elliott) was living in "Oxford Town" in Butler County, Ohio, after the death of her husband. She was enumerated with her daughter Margaret Jane Elliott, who was 17 years old.  Fanny (Frances Fuller Hearn) is Sarah's sister, and Maggie is Fanny's niece. "Chal" is Fanny's husband, Sarah's brother-in-law and Maggie's uncle.

       After the death of her first husband (Hiatt) in 1869, Maggie married Jeremiah F. York. He was born 12 May 1821 in the state of New York, the son of Jeremiah York/Yorke. His parents were listed as being born in Vermont. By the time the 1880 Census was taken, he was married and living in Cambridge, Henry Co., Illinois, listed as a farmer. In 1880 he was listed with five children: Charles, Katie, Leuella, Freddie, and Mattie. He also was father to two step children: Mary C. Hiatt and Fannie E. Hiatt, the children of Maggie and her first husband.

      A record is found for Jeremiah F. York marrying Ohio born Maggie Elliott Hiatt (b. 8 Oct. 1842) on Christmas Day 1872, at Tazewell County, Illinois, thus some of the children listed on the 1880 Census, are York’s children from an earlier marriage, as Charles was listed at 24, Katie at 23, Leuella at 17 and Freddie at 15 in the year 1880. Mattie, only 5 years old, was likely the only child fathered by York with Maggie E. Hiatt. Maggie appears to have brought two children to the marriage to add to York's four, thus the family had 7 children in all.  The Hiatt surname, was Maggie's married name, as her true maiden name was Margaret Jane Elliot, which is how it is listed on her tombstone.

       The 1870 Census shows that Jeremiah was a widower with five children (Lovinia, Charles, Katie, Leuella, and Freddie). Lovinia was born at Dover, Kentucky in 1852, Charles and the others in Illinois. Jeremiah must have moved to Illinois from Kentucky at sometime between 1852, when Lovinia was born, and 1857 when Charles was born. He moved to Kentucky from New York prior to the 1850 Census, where he is found in District One, in Mason County, Kentucky, with his father Jeremiah, and two of his brothers, one of whom, Joseph, is working as lumber dealer, as was Jeremiah Jr. The other brother, George, was a carpenter.

      Jeremiah registered for the Civil War draft in June of 1863, but at 43 years of age, it is unclear if he actually served, or not. He was living at Cambridge, Illinois, in 1863.

      In 1900, Jeremiah was still living, and 79 years old, and retired. He still resided in Cambridge Township, Illinois. His second wife Maggie was still living, and also enumerated with the couple are two of the daughters, Maggie and Leuella. Freddie, their son, lived nearby with his family.

       At some point prior to the 1910 Census, the couple decided to move to California where they both died, Jeremiah on 21 November 1910, Maggie on 19 August 1932. They are buried at Bellevue Memorial Park, Ontario, San Bernardino County, California. The 1910 Census showed that they were farming, with their son Freddie and his family. They, and their daughter Mattie, had all moved to California with Maggie and Jeremiah.

      Description of Collection

       22 incoming letters 51 pp., (no envelopes) to Maggie E. York, dated 1856-1904, from various individuals and family. Six of the letters are from the Hamilton, Ohio law firm of Moore & Moore, who handled Maggie's financial affairs. There are another six letters from Robert Beckett, also of Hamilton, Ohio, who writes to her about financial matters as well. These letters from Moore and Beckett are from the 1870s and 1880s. This correspondence appears to relate to money inherited after the death of Maggie's father William Elliott in 1856.

28 outgoing letters 37 pp., (no envelopes) dated 1863-1882, of W. E. Brown, president of Second National Bank of Hamilton, Ohio. He writes to Margaret "Maggie" Elliott Hiatt, and her mother Sarah Hearn Elliott concerning financial matters. This appears to be related to money and financial matters connected to the death of Maggie's father William Elliott, in 1856.

13 outgoing letters 67 pp., (2 envelopes), of Frances "Fannie" Hiatt York, to her mother Margaret Elliott Hiatt York, dated 1887-1889, only a couple of these letters are dated, the others are not, but appear to be from the same general time frame.

33 outgoing letters 141 pp., (17 envelopes), dated 1871-1876, of Jeremiah F. York, with the bulk being from 1872. York writes to his future wife Mrs. Maggie Elliott Hiatt. He begins corresponding with Maggie in February 1872, and they were married in December of that year.

        "Cambridge, Feb'y 27/71

         Mrs. Hiatt

         Dear Madam,

I hope you will pardon me for addressing you these lines. I learned through Mrs. Hearn of you safe arrival home, and I could not resist the desire I felt to write you. I need scarcely tell you that I enjoyed your society very much while here and would like to further cultivate your acquaintance if agreeable to you. Would like very much to step in and have a chat with you face to face but as this may not be for the present at least I will communicate with you through this medium..."

York begins his correspondence with his future wife with this letter, he writes regularly throughout the year cultivating their relationship, sharing his thoughts and family gossip. The couple was married on Christmas day.

9 incoming letters 28 pp., (no envelopes) to Jeremiah F. York, dated 1872-1906, from various individuals and family.

20 outgoing letters 60 pp., (no envelopes) dated 1856-1865, of Charles "Chal" Hearn, written from Chillicothe, Ohio, mostly to his sister Sarah Hearn Elliott and his niece Maggie Elliott, the bulk are from the Civil War era, 1861-1864. Chal was 36 year old school teacher in 1864 when he mentions in a letter to his sister that he just might see military duty yet:

"Chillicothe, July 1864

...I suppose you know there is to be another draft the 5th of Sept, when I may have an opportunity of shouldering a musket, if not I shall begin my school in the front room about that time..."

       Chal's letters show how the family was affected by the war:

       "Chillicothe, Sept 4th 1864

       ...Brother Charley has had a long siege of typhoid fever sick since the fifteenth of June. He is now in the hospital at Gallipolis and is recovering slowly. Mother took him home once but the furlough was too short to do any permanent good. Sister Carrie is still very sick in Covington, we are very uneasy about her. Jim was captured by Mosby's cavalry the day after his time expired and is now a prisoner in Lynchburg, Va. They feel almost as badly as if he was dead...Uncle Sam has got his supply of men from this township so I will not have to work for him this fall...We have a vacation in our church, our preacher having gone to the South..."

12 outgoing letters 48 pp., (no envelopes) written by Fannie Elliott Hearn to her family, dated 1861-1865. Of the 12 letters, only 4 are dated, however the others appear from the 1860s. Fannie writes to her sister-in-law Sarah Hearn Elliott, and her niece Margaret "Maggie" Elliott. Fannie's letters touch on the Civil War:

       "June 3, 4, 61

              ...Cousin Wes's regiment passed through here last week and he spent the night at home; the next day he went on to Athens with another company; when about twenty miles east of here the cars were thrown off the track and some of the soldiers killed others were severely injured. Weston fortunately escaped with a scratch on the hand. What do you think of the state of the country now? ..."

       And describes what Cincinnati, Ohio looked like at this time:

       "Oxford, Nov 26 '61

        ...We spent a week in Cincinnati and Covington visiting our friends. The city is a very nice place to spend a short time in, but I have no desire to live there; the constant roar of business, the jostling crowding multitude on some of principal streets, the narrow dwellings and poor apology for yards that give you some idea of being shut up in a nutshell, but O! the coal smoke, I never saw anything like it..."

"Dear Sister Elliott,

    ...Covington has been placed under martial law, no man allowed to appear on the street unarmed and momentarily expecting an attack. Oh it is dreadful to think of sister Jennie way back there, secession neighbors all around her - what can she do with her two little children? I wrote to Jim a short note yesterday to try and send her up here. She has never been here, our frugal table will not make any difference to her as she is accustomed to economy in her own family since Mr. Hull's business is so poor. She has probably sought some place of refuge ere this..."

37 miscellaneous letters 110 pp., (4 envelopes) dated 1856 - 1955, 3 of the letters are incomplete. The bulk of the letters date from 1856-1889, 5 of them date from the Civil War era. Letters include various individuals, or family members, writing to Sarah Elliott and Maggie Elliott among others.

       Description of Ephemera

      The collection includes 172 pieces of ephemera, dated 1854-1904, as follows:

66 Property Tax Receipts for various properties in Kearney, Buffalo County, Nebraska; Tremont Township, Tazewell County, Illinois; several townships in Butler County, Ohio; and Cambridge Township, Henry County, Illinois.

        36 manuscript receipts, accounts, verse, directions, etc.

         33 used envelopes they likely can be matched to letters in collection; 18 newspaper clippings; 10 used checks; 9 warranty deeds, releases, mortgages, etc.